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Sanidad vs Comelec - A case Digest

PABLITO V. SANIDAD - petitioner; newspaper columnist of the "OVERVIEW" for the BAGUIO MIDLAND COURIER, a weekly newspaper circulated in the City of Baguio and the Cordilleras COMELEC Type of respondent; petition filed: through PETITION its SolicitorFOR General CERTIORARI

ISSUE: Whether Section 19 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2167 is constitutional or not.

FACTS: COMELEC Resolution No. 2167 was promulgated due to the enacted RA No. 6766 (An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region) last October 23, 1989, which paved for a call of a plebescite fo its ratification (original schedule was reset from December 27, 1989 to January 30, 1990. Allegations of Sanidad:

1.Unconsitutional as it it violates the constitutional guarantees of the freedom of expression and of the press 2.Constitutes a prior restraint on his constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of the press bause of its penal provsions in case of violation Responses of COMELEC

-Not violative of the constitutional guarantees of the freedom of expression and of the press but only a valid implementation of the power of the Comelec to supervise and regulate media during election or plebiscite periods as enunciated in Article IX-C, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 11 of RA 6646 -Does Not absolutely bar petitioner from expressing his views and/or from campaigning for or against the Organic Act. He may still express his views or campaign for or against the act through the Comelec space and airtime (magazine/periodical in the province)

HELD: Petiton is GRANTED- Section 19 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2167 is declared null and void and unconstitutional . TRO made permanent due to the follwing reasons: 1. It has no statutory basis

2. Form of regulation is tantamount to a restriction of petitioner's freedom of expression for no justifiable reason 3. affected by the issues presented in a plebiscite should not be unduly burdened by restrictions on the forum where the right to expression may be exercised.

By: Shiela Marie Tanguin